With Kentucky Derby winner Orb entering the Preakness Stakes as such an overwhelming favorite, you would be best served to focus on the other horses in the field.
That's not to say that legend Shug McGaughey's pride and joy will have much trouble at Pimlico. With five wins in a row, Orb has proven to be able to transcend every kind of race. Whether the track is clear or covered in slop, the pace is trodding or blazing or he gets an inside or outside position—it doesn't matter.
Orb is a magnificent horse with a jockey—Joel Rosario—who is on fire.
But if you're looking for the best way to maximize your bet, Orb, currently sitting at 1-1, shouldn't be an option.
Here's a look at the complete odds and a few intriguing thoroughbreds who should be.
2013 Preakness Odds
Note: Odds courtesy of Daily Racing Form
|Orb||Shug McGaughey||Joel Rosario||1-1|
|Goldencents||Doug O'Neill||Kevin Krigger||5-1|
|Departing||Al Stall Jr.||Brian Hernandez Jr.||6-1|
|Mylute||Tom Amoss||Rosie Napravnik||10-1|
|Itsmyluckyday||Eddie Plesa Jr.||John Velazquez||10-1|
|Will Take Charge||D. Wayne Lukas||Mike Smith||10-1|
|Govenor Charlie||Bob Baffert||Martin Garcia||15-1|
|Oxbow||D. Wayne Lukas||Gary Stevens||15-1|
|Titletown Five||D. Wayne Lukas||Julien Leparoux||20-1|
Take another look at this year's Kentucky Derby:
Oxbow (No. 2) was at the front of the pack for the majority of the race but fell back to sixth in the final straightaway.
While front-runners like this horse don't tend win The Second Jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness, which is a full furlong shorter than the Kentucky Derby, gives Oxbow a chance to hold that pace down the stretch.
With an elite trainer in D. Wayne Lukas and veteran jockey in Gary Stevens, the second-worst odds in a less-than-spectacular field are too enticing to pass up.
Jockey Rosie Napravnik rode Mylute to a truly encouraging fifth-place finish at Churchill Downs, but according to Trakus (speed statistics), it was actually the second-best performance of the day (via NBC's Randy Moss):
Randy Moss @randy_moss_TV
And using Trakus ft/sec + Beyer beaten lengths values, Orb beats Mylute by 6 lengths, Normandy by 8.5, GoldenSoul 10 and Revolutionary 11.2013-5-5 10:36:50
Mylute actually ran a very similar race to Orb.
After getting caught at the back to start, Napravnik led him in full force to the front of pack and was blazing down the stretch:
Rosie Napravnik @RosieNapravnik
Amazing weekend! Mylute and I fin 5th but less than 4 lengths from victory in the Derby!! Unbelievable feeling closing fast down stretch!!!!2013-5-5 12:29:11
Now, many might suggest that means Mylute is better served for a longer race like the Belmont Stakes, but the way I see it, he ran nearly as well as the perceived odds-on favorite. If he manages to avoid getting bottled up at the beginning, he has the talent to compete with Orb.
I've got Mylute second in my trifecta, but with only the fourth-best odds, it's difficult not to take him for the win at Pimlico.